2017 Brovia, Barolo DOCG, Piedmonte, Italy.
Okay, I know it was too young to open, but wow, what a great surprise I found here with Brovia’s 2017 Barolo, it showed brilliantly and has beautiful supple ripe tannins the support a complex and radiant full bodied palate of classic Nebbiolo flavors that was way beyond my expectations of the vintage and the youth of this wine. The color is exceptional in the glass with a bright ruby/garnet core and orange/magenta edges and the bouquet was expressive with red fruits, floral notes and hints of earthy depth before the entry, which brings dark berry, damson plum, black cherry and Moro orange fruits, along with dried spices, chanterelles, rose petals, chalky stones, minty herbs, leather, sandalwood and black licorice accents. The fruit opens up wonderfully and the background savory tones provide superb contrast here, while being mostly subtle to allow the Brovia’s Barolo to display itself in an elegant way, this is a very confident effort and a great value too, it went well with fresh and vibrant garden flavors of the food I had with it and was easily drank on its own too, never putting a foot wrong. While you continue to age and wait on 2010s and 2016s, you will find pleasures in Barolo from the 2013s and these better 2017s, especially Brovia. The Brovia Baroli are made from care selections of Nebbiolo from younger vines in top crus that are 100% de-stemmed and cool fermented in stainless steel with a maceration that lasts about 21 days then aged for at least two years in mainly large format casks of used Slavonian and French oak.
The famous Brovia estate, which I have followed since the mid 2000s, now run by Elena Brovia, was originally established in 1863 by Giacinto Brovia, who founded the winery in the village of Castiglione Falletto, in the heart of the Barolo district. The family has been continually engaged in the growing of grapes and the production of wine since that time, through many up and downs and have emerged as one of the top properties with a focus on traditional Barolo and native varietals, like Nebbiolo, as found in their prized Barolo offerings, Barbera and Freisa, which I reviewed recently, as well as notable efforts with Dolcetto and Arneis. The Brovia family have concentrated their efforts in their home village of Castiglione Falletto and the neighboring Serralunga d’Alba, where they have awesome parcels from which to choose the grapes that go into this basic Barolo bottling. Brovia has also an elite collection of Crus in a variety of terroirs, including awesome plots in Rocche, Villero and Garblét Sue, which, as the winery notes, are all in their home district of Castiglione Falletto, as well as Brea, located just down the road in Serralunga. These different vineyard plots, Brovia adds, represent a range of soil types, from heavier clay to friable limestone, which goes from heavier fruit density to a more structured and tannic wine. The family is extremely conscientious of nature and the environment and as winegrowers they farm organically, though without being formally certified they are passionate about being sustainable and holistic in their methods, both in the vineyard and in the cellar. I was happy to find this 2017 Barolo showing so well and while it should go another decade or more, it does give a lot of authentic charm already, in particular with a meal and now I wish I had bought a few more bottles!
($50 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive